The Wyss Institute collaborates with GBS Inc., a subsidiary of The iQ Group Global, to combine its electrochemical eRapid sensing technology with GBS’s transistor technology in developing a multiplexed COVID-19 biomarker diagnostic. (Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University)

A specific and sensitive COVID-19 diagnostic that would integrate eRapid technology with the transistor sensor technology could enable simultaneous electrochemical sensing of multiple biomarkers related to SARS-CoV-2 infection in point-of-care COVID-19 diagnostic applications.

The research collaboration between the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and GBS Inc., a subsidiary of The iQ Group Global, further cements both parties’ commitment to bringing the electrochemical detection system forward as a diagnostic tool during the pandemic

The eRapid diagnostic was developed as a low-cost, affinity-based electrochemical sensing platform that can simultaneously detect and quantify of a broad range of biomarkers, with high sensitivity and selectivity, from a small volume of complex biological fluids, such as whole blood or saliva. The team had initially applied the technology for detection of sepsis and other life-threatening diseases; however, motivated by the rapidly spreading pandemic, they are also configuring eRapid as a comprehensive COVID-19 biomarker detection technology.

The eRapid technology uses a novel, low-cost, antifouling nanocomposite coating to which SARS-CoV-2-specific ligands may be attached in order to capture viral proteins or RNA, as well as host antibodies and other proteins produced by infected individuals in response to the virus. Upon chemically detecting any one of these virus-specific molecules, the eRapid platform generates an electrical signal that correlates in strength with the levels of target molecules that are detected.